Kimiaki Kageyama. Japanese aesthetic of beauty

Yesterday surfing the web, I discovered the amazing works of jeweller Kimiaki Kageyama.
I’m always amazed by the craftsmanship of Japanese artists. Combining exceptional creativity and solid tradition skills, they create stunning inventive wearable art.

Born in Shizuoka in 1948, Kimiaki Kageyama graduated from the Tokyo University of the Arts with the specialisation in Craft of Fine Arts in 1972 and and in Metalworks in 1974. Then he established a studio with his collegues. They were commissioned to create metal gates, shop signs and so on. During this time he began to make jewelry.

He created a small number of works for competitions during the 70s and 80s, participated in Schmuck since 1992 and in 1993 held his first solo jewelry exhibition, Image of Cinnabar, The fragment of time-1. Among his recent exhibitions there are solo show Still Flowers (2014) at Gallery SO in London and solo show Kamo River (2016) at Jewelers’ Werk Galerie in Washington, D.C.

KAMO RIVER, ring, 300 years old urushi, 20KYG, pigment of cinnabar, gold pigment, a big ruby crystal, epoxy resin

This ring is made from lacquer fragments originally belonged to one of the three portable shrines from Yasaka Shrine in Kyoto. This is reminds of «fundamental affection for something ephemeral as well as human desire for eternity – both are primary sentiments people project onto jewelry in general <…> his work indicates that the real significance of being timeless lies not in the object’s immortality but in its ability to stir up sympathy within the viewer from any period of time». (from the interview “Aesthetics of Tranquility. A Conversation with Kimiaki Kageyama” with the artist by Makiko Akiyama for Klimt02).

Urushi Ring with Pearl, 2016. 300 Year Old Urushi Lacquer, Cinnabar, Gold Pigments, Gold

Bamboo Grass, 2006
Iron, Gold

Japanese Maple Leaf, 2006. Gold

Urushi Ring, 2016
300 Year Old Urushi Lacquer, Cinnabar, Gold Pigments, Gold

Leaf. Iron

Urushi Ring with Amethyst, 2016
300 Year Old Urushi Lacquer, Cinnabar, Gold Pigments, Gold

Yellow Rose, 2010
Iron, Poly-Urethane Resin Paint, Gold


These pieces with its naturality and rustic feel embody the idea of the wabi-sabi craftsmanship which reflects a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. It reminds us that nothing is permanent.

To see more amazing creations of Kimiaki Kageyama visit the site of the Gallery SO.